Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Gift keeps researcher's memory alive
By Flori Meeks, contributing writer
Irene Kinsey Stare will never forget her late husband's passion for helping others see. As a researcher and co-founder of Oakland University’s Eye Research Institute (ERI), V. Everett Kinsey brought the gift of vision to thousands of people throughout the world. Thanks to Stare’s $500,000 planned gift, no one will ever forget that vitally important work.
"He was a very brilliant, remarkable man," Stare said. “I would like this gift to be a legacy for him.”
The bequest will support the V. Everett Kinsey Professorship Endowed Fund, which will finance research projects by ERI professors.
"I want to see his work carried on and his name continue to be associated with the Eye Research Institute," Stare said.
By the time OU’s Chancellor Woody Varner recruited Kinsey in 1967, the researcher already had amassed an impressive list of professional accomplishments. Early in his career, he served as a researcher in Harvard Medical School’s Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology. In 1949, he helped establish the National Foundation for Eye Research, today known as the National Eye Institute.
Kinsey came to Oakland to establish the ERI with Venkat N. Reddy. The Institute would conduct basic research into the underlying causes of eye diseases that result in blindness and loss of vision.
"Dr. Kinsey was the first scientist to be part of a clinical department," said Frank Giblin, ERI interim director. "He had a Ph.D. Before that, MDs were doing all the ophthalmology research.”
Kinsey served as the ERI's director until 1975, when Reddy took the helm.
"Kinsey's status put Oakland University on the map as far as eye research is concerned," Reddy said.
Kinsey devoted much of his career to the study of blindness in premature infants, winning the prestigious Lasker Award for his determination that excessive oxygen administration was often the cause. He also conducted research on the cornea and the root causes of glaucoma.
Giblin welcomes the opportunity to keep Kinsey’s memory alive. Reddy, too, believes the memorial fund is a well-deserved honor. Quite simply, “he was one of Oakland University’s most outstanding faculty members.”